As we know from a study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence in September, lots of older Americans are consuming cannabis, many for medical purposes.
Yet another new study, recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, looks at how the baby boomers are scoring their stash, and it's not medical marijuana.
The survey contacted Colorado residents over 65, a third of whom reported using weed at some point in their lives. Half of those respondents said they’re currently still toking, especially since legalization in 2012.
In addition to questions like how often they consume, they were asked where they get their weed.
While 26 percent said they had a recommendation for medical cannabis for treating anxiety, depression, sleeping problems, pain and appetite stimulation, 67 percent used and “obtained marijuana recreationally.”
Of course they do.
“Thus, in states with recreationally available marijuana, older adults may be using marijuana in addition to their prescribed regimens, so it is important to inquire about marijuana use regardless of age,” the study authors wrote.
Other takeaways from the study: senior citizens seem to gravitate toward edibles (42 percent) as compared to smoking cannabis (29 percent). Lotions and oils were also favorites among respondents.
Separate studies have found that self-reported cannabis use among older Americans is rising dramatically, and that many seniors are reducing their prescription drug use, particularly to opioids, once they start using cannabis for chronic pain.
According to clinical data on the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis among the elderly - led by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, aka the father of cannabis research. The study assessed seniors’ long-term use of cannabis and concluded that consumption is safe and is associated with a “significant improvement” in subjects’ “overall quality of life.”
“This is a population that, in many cases, had firsthand experience with cannabis during their young adulthood, and have now returned to cannabis in older age,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said in a press release.
“Seniors are turning to cannabis as a potential option to provide symptomatic relief while potentially avoiding the dramatic side-effects associated with other medications and improving their quality of life,” added Strekel.